6 Things You Need To Know About CNA License

Are you ready to become a Certified Nursing Assistant? Here are the steps you need to take to get your license:

Step 1

Make sure you meet the basic eligibility requirements to enroll in a CNA training program and apply for a license.

Step 2

Enroll in a state-approved CNA program offered by a vocational school, community college, or the Red Cross.

Step 3

Study for the CNA exam, which has a theoretical and practical exam to test your knowledge and skills in patient care.

Step 4

Apply for your CNA license after passing the exam. Submit an application and pay a fee to your state's licensing board.

Step 5

The licensing process for CNAs takes 4-6 weeks. After passing the exam, you can start applying for jobs.

CNA Certification by State

To get detailed information on how to obtain, maintain, or transfer a CNA license in your state, click on the name of your state from the list below.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to frequently asked questions about obtaining and maintaining a license.

What is my CNA license number?

Your license number is your unique identifier as a CNA. It is required for job applications and as proof of your current status. If you recently applied for your license, expect a processing time of 4-6 weeks from your state's nursing board. Your license number will be mailed to you after processing. If you have forgotten your license number, you can recover it through your state's nurse aide registry or nursing board. To find your state's registry, consult our comprehensive list of nurse aide registries.

How can I check my license status?

If you have recently applied for your license, please be aware that it may take up to 4-6 weeks for your state's nursing board to process your application. Once you have received your license number, you can check its status at any time by looking it up in your state's nurse aide registry. It is advisable to check your license status if you are applying for a new job or have experienced a break in employment as a CNA.

How long does my license last?

The expiration date of your CNA license varies by state. In most states, it lasts for two years. However, some states may require you to renew your license more often. You can check with your state's nursing board to find out the specific expiration date for your license.

What do I do if my license has expired?

If your license has expired, you will need to renew it. To renew an expired license, check your license status to confirm its expiration date, gather the necessary documentation (such as proof of continuing education credits and a fee payment receipt), complete the renewal application, pay the renewal fee, and meet any other state-specific renewal prerequisites. Contact your state's nurse aide registry or nursing board promptly to determine the specific deadline for renewing your license and to get more information about the renewal process.

How do I change my name or address?

To change your name or address on your license, contact your state's nurse aide registry or nursing board. The specific requirements and process may vary, but you will generally need to provide supporting documents and complete a change of name/address form. For example, in California, you will need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order if you are changing your name. You can submit the form and documentation by mail, fax, or in person. Most states charge a fee to update your license with your new name or address.

How can I get a duplicate CNA certificate if I lost my original one?

If you lose your CNA certificate, you can request a duplicate from your state's nursing board. They will provide the necessary instructions, forms, and a list of required documents. The fee is typically between $10 and $20. Once you have submitted your request, the nursing board will mail you the duplicate certificate within 2-4 weeks.

Can I transfer my license to practice in another state?

To transfer your CNA license to another state, check if the state has reciprocity. If so, gather the required documentation and apply for a license transfer. You may be able to work as a CNA while your application is pending. However, if the state does not have reciprocity, you may need to retake the CNA exam and potentially complete additional courses.

What happens when my license is suspended or revoked?

If your license is suspended, you will not be able to practice as a CNA. You will need to take steps to get your license reinstated, which may involve completing a remediation program, paying a fine, or taking other disciplinary actions. If your license is revoked, you will not be able to practice as a CNA again and may also be prohibited from working in other healthcare jobs. You should consult with an attorney to discuss your options and how to make a living while you get your license reinstated.

From the Blog

Hand-picked posts from our blog:

Find CNA Programs Near You

Ready to embark on your career as a CNA? Enter your zip code to find CNA programs in your area.